The Unpublicized Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: How Do You Sleep?

sleepless entrepreneur


How do you shut your brain off at night?  Personally, I have a hard time finding the off-switch, which leads to a very hard time flipping it back on in the morning.

Entrepreneurs face a variety of challenges, but getting to sleep is an important one that’s rarely addressed.  Mashable goes so far as to call a good night’s sleep a beautiful, mythical creature.

If you’re anything like me, the moment you close your eyes, you start running through tomorrow’s to-do list and brainstorm your best ideas.  And  if you’re obsessive like I am, you don’t want to forget those ideas so you start repeating them like a mantra and flushing them out in your head.  Next thing you know it’s 4am, your wife is yelling at you to stop squirming around and you’re starting to freak out that you have to get up in just a few hours.

I’m to the point where I’m considering napping during the day because I get so much done in my head when I lay in bed trying to sleep.  -> Tweet This

I’ve read the regular tips about sleeping:  avoid late night snacks, mediate, even adjust your lighting.  But my main problem is ideas.  Once I filter out the noise of the day, my brain reaches its most productive level.  I come up with some great business ideas in bed, unfortunately, I tend to only remember 50% of them until weeks later.

So I’m about to start a little experiment which I hope will help.  I’m planning to keep a small pad and paper next to the bed and jot down any todos or killer ideas right away so I don’t obsess over them.  If it works, I may even be tempted to buy one of these bad-boys.   I know it sounds simple, but I’m hoping the act of writing ideas down will stop me from trying so hard to remember them.

In the meantime, I’ll share part of my routine which seems to help a little and may help you too:

  1. No caffeine after 3pm.
  2. Don’t spend any time in front of the computer an hour before bed.  I try to use the last hour of the day vegging out in front of the TV.  Preferably to a good series on HBO like True Blood or Game of Thrones.
  3. Get some form of exercise every day.  Working from home makes it easy to be completely immobile, but I try to mountain bike or play with my daughter for an hour or so every day.
  4. Have a beer or three.  Hey, it works.
  5. Keep the temperature sub-zero.  I’ll gladly pay the extra electric bill for a cool room that helps me sleep.

Anyone else out there sleepless?  What do you do to stop the voices in your head?

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